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Navy Ships Fail Inspections May 5, 2008

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

The cruiser USS Chosin, above, along with the destroyer Stout, were found “unfit for combat operations”.


 USS Stout

The Navy inspection said:

Most of the missiles couldn’t be fired, and neither could any of the big guns.
The much vaunted Aegis radars didn’t work right.
The flight decks were inoperable.
Most of the lifesaving gear failed inspection.
Corrosion was rampant, and lubricating oil leaked all over.
The verdict: “unfit for sustained combat operations.”

The Admirals in charge of the ships said:

Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis and Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn have said that ships and their crews must relearn how to evaluate themselves and, in Curtis’ words, “get back to basics” by focusing on fundamentals like routine inspections, maintenance and keeping ships clean.

My take?

These ships aren’t going to make it, and neither is the surface Navy, until they get rid of guys like Curtis.

People are walking through the ship and stepping over trash, turning rusty valves, ignoring broken life vests. Corrosion is not rampant, and lube oil does not leak everywhere, in ships where daily preventive maintenance is done. This is NOT the result of too much computer-based instruction. It’s the result of Admirals who only sit in their offices, never miss telling a sea story, and strut around in their gold braid. Curtis let others around him carry him for 32 years; now, no one else is around.

Curtis said, ““Solutions are difficult, and may be slow in coming.” No, getting money and timely agreement from dim-witted Admirals is difficult. Stopping rust and patching life rafts is easy.

Get rid of Quinn, too. A glad hander with no obvious substance.

It’s not like the fleet is too big to manage. We now have 116 surface warships compared with 249 during Vietnam and 827 during WWII. We now have more Admirals than ships, and they just created a fifth fleet! They can’t manage what they have because they are more political, less hands-on, with less willpower now than the Navy had before.



1. Brenda Love - May 5, 2008

The entire Navy is on crack these days and too lazy for ship maintenance.


2. gregquill - May 6, 2008

Sandy, that’s an interesting comment! I guess I do get passionate about it.

We now have 309 Admirals in the Navy.

Brenda, if that were so, it wouldn’t bother the Admirals so much. Actually, I guess it DOESN’T bother them very much!

3. Bob - May 6, 2008

Another result of getting rid of stringent examinations like the PEB….I swear there is far too much brass that believe if we can’t meet standards, then the standards must be too high!
Stay well.

4. gregquill - May 6, 2008

All, Bob is a former boss of mine in the Navy – one of the best of the best I had. “PEB” means “propulsion examining board” – a very, very tough inspection and examination of everyone in the engineering department, to see if they know how to do their jobs. The engineers make the ship go: boilers, generators, gas turbines, steering, telephones, electricity, etc., etc.

5. gregquill - May 7, 2008

Maybe the problem is caused by reduced manning. Need to read this paper: “Reduced Manning in DDG 51 Class Warships: Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Ahead for Reduced Manning on all United States Navy Ships”
Authors: James B. Hinkle; Terry L. Glover; ANTEON CORP ARLINGTON VA

Abstract: In an effort to move forward smartly with initiatives to reduce manning in U.S. Navy combatants, the Program Executive Office, Ships, commissioned a study to examine and analyze alternatives to reduce manning for Arleigh Burke Class ships with the expectation that lessons learned from this effort would not only benefit current and future flights of DDG 51 Class ships, but would also benefit future ship classes, particularly the DD(X) family of ships. The DDG 51 Reduced Manning Study (Figure 1) was conducted in two phases by a Navy-Industry Team, Phase I Concept Study (Hinkle and Glover 2003 – Concept) and Phase II The Plan for Assured Manning (Hinkle and Glover 2003 – Plan). This paper presents the significant results of the concept portion of this study. This study was coordinated with both past and ongoing manning reduction initiatives, particularly current reduced manning experiments being conducted by Commander, Naval Surface Forces. It came to important conclusions and recommendations regarding ways to reduce manning in DDG 51 Class ships and focused especially on changes in policy, processes, culture, and tradition. The study’s manning reduction initiatives covered three primary areas: (1) Achieving economies of scale by moving many functions currently performed by a ship’s crew off the ship, (2) Accepting increased levels of risk by eliminating or consolidating some watch stations and reducing some support and hotel services, and (3) Investing in emerging technologies that would reduce the numbers of Sailors needed onboard Navy ships. (11 figures, 9 refs.)

This is under VADM Curtis’s control, of course.

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